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Worried what will happen when festivals are over: Rajiv Bajaj

Rajiv Bajaj agreed there have been record sales in the wholesale segment in October but the struggle has continued in retail sales. The 53-year-old business tycoon expressed his concern for the post-festive season sales

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | November 3, 2020 | Updated 12:36 IST
Worried what will happen when festivals are over: Rajiv Bajaj
Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj

Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj has said that positive auto sales figures are numbers of the wholesale sector and that there's a bit of struggle in the retail segment. He said the motorcycle industry has seen no positive year-on-year growth since the pandemic began in India in March. The auto giant chief said he's worried about the retail sale numbers once the festive fervour subsides.

"The sales of the last three months have barely been able to match last year's. I'm worried about what will happen from December when festivals are over. A -3% growth is a matter of discomfort. We must see double-digit growth from January," he said during an interview to India Today TV.

He said the industry must have a plan B ready because retail sales are not increasing at the desired pace. "So far, since the lockdown was lifted, retail sales in the two-wheeler industry have not exceeded last year's. Something has to be done for things to change in the near future," he added.

He further suggested two things to revive sales in the auto retail sector -- supporting MSMEs and tweaking GST. "Big companies like Bajaj Auto don't need that (support for MSMEs). Like my dealers who are not as robust...then, at least in some way, motivate and induce the customer through GST tweaks. So many jobs have been lost. Without such actions in place, how will people buy?" he asked.

When asked about Bajaj's decision to not advertise on TV channels that spread hate, he said, "I may not be able to stop it. But we will not fuel it". Recently, Bajaj Auto blacklisted three channels for advertising on account of spreading toxicity and hate in society.

When asked if Tanishq did the right thing by pulling out the controversial ad that promoted inter-faith marriage and communal harmony, Bajaj said he will stick his neck out and say he wouldn't have chosen that theme. "I'm not a fan of Bollywood-style advertisements. I wouldn't have made it in the first place," he added.

Also read: Surge in GST collections: Is it sustainable economic revival or just pent-up demand?

Also read: NTPC to buyback shares worth Rs 2,275 crore at Rs 115 apiece

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